The fall of the year I went off work there was an event with disastrous impact and results. September 11, 2001. I was home and glued to the television as was most of the country. It stayed with me, to be truthful; you couldn’t get away from it. The artist inside me that had been silent for so long suddenly awoke, and I created a work of art, so different from anything I had done before. I had finally found something to fill up my time, and being creative soothed my damaged soul.
I hated the town where I had moved with such promise, and moved, closer to the kids, at a sort of half way point. I began to concentrate on my creativity, making clothes for my granddaughters, writing stories for them, and painting. It filled my time, gave my mind something to concentrate on, but still…I was unhappy, alone, with too much time on my hands.
The two years went by and I received notice that I was accepted for Long Term Disability. It was a relief, and yet it left me with a “Now what?” question. I hadn’t realized how short sighted I had been, never thinking beyond that 2 year time frame. I wish I had sought out some counselling, someone I could talk to. I had some crazy thoughts, not the suicidal ideation stuff, but stuff about family, money, my value as a person. Maybe a counsellor could have helped me sort through all those feelings and the years to follow would not have been so painful.
Subconsciously, by neglect and by making bad decisions, I showed I didn’t care. I was totally apathetic. At a time when I should have sought out counselling, family, or friends, I blundered through alone. The worry that had hung over me, like a black cloud, was finally eased when I went on disability, but I still had the empty days and a staggering sense of loss of self. I was making my way, one day at a time.
My second granddaughter was born during that time, and a new baby is always a happy event. But as much time as I spent with my children, being grandma to their kids, I still spent too much time alone, feeling separate and isolated. It was as if I lived two lives, the one I showed to the family, and the one I lived when alone. I had no idea who I was anymore. It seemed a lifetime since I had left
, for in those five years my life had
been unbelievably altered. Toronto